[Advaita-l] Story of Golden Mongoose
kamesh_ccmb at yahoo.co.in
Mon Oct 18 01:18:04 EDT 2021
Dear Friends, A mongoose with blue eyes and gold colored on one side, appears during the final Ashwamedha Yaga by Yudhishthira . The mongoose, in a thundering human voice, says, "O kings, this animal sacrifice is not equal to the tiny amount of which is done by an ascetic.Yudhishthira does not understand, so asks the mongoose for an explanation. The mongoose tells them a story: Long ago Long ago, there was a terrible drought. The ascetic and his family had nothing to eat. To find food, the ascetic would do what people generallydo - go to fields already harvested, and like pigeons pick left over grains from the harvested field to find food. One day, after many hours of harsh work, the ascetic finds a handful of barley grains. He brings the grains home, and his wife cooks it. Just when his son and daughter in law, his wife and he are about to eat their first meal in few days, a guest arrives. The ascetic washes the guest's feet and inquires how he was doing. The guest says he is hungry. The ascetic, explains the mongoose, gives his guest his share of cooked barley.The guest eats it, but says it was too little, he is still hungry. The wife of the ascetic hears the guest. She offers her own share of cooked barley, even though she too is starving. The guest eats that too, but said he still feels hungry. The ascetic's son and daughter-in-law give all their share of cooked barley too. The guest finishes it, then smiles and re-appears in the form of god Dharma. The god gives the family a boon and fills their home with food, saying that it is not the quantity that matters, but quality of care and love given in one's circumstances. The mongoose asks if Yudhishthira is confident that his animal sacrifice would please the deity Dharma. It continues to say that fortunately it falls/moves in the water shade of that Guest (Dharma diety) and eats few trace of that leftover from his hands there by becommming Golden shaded of that portion.Before Yudhishthira could answer, the mongoose disappears.
The Rishis at the yajna ask if animal sacrifice is appropriate or should they show compassion for all creatures. Some suggest that seeds of grain be substituted and animals be set free. Listening to the discussion between the Rishis, king Vasu suggests in Ashvamedhika Parva, that large gifts from a sinful person are of no value, but even small gifts from a righteous person given with love out of compassion is of great merit and makes the way to the path of Liberation.
I heard this story several times from my grand father. Pls do pass the message to your belovedones from this story.
Sri Guru Padaravindarpana MastuKameswara
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